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Cal Lutheran Finds No Poetic Justice in 52-24 Loss to Whittier


WHITTIER — The big play at the wrong time again victimized Cal Lutheran.

Mark Mejia of Whittier passed for a school-record 425 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another score as the Poets beat Cal Lutheran, 52-24, in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at Whittier.

Whittier (3-4, 3-0 in conference play) accumulated 612 yards and remained in first place in the SCIAC. The Kingsmen (2-5, 0-3), who had 475 yards, dropped their third consecutive game, allowing 153 points during the skid.

"They tried to cover us man-to-man," Mejia said. "We expect our receivers to handle that type of coverage. They are a good team offensively, so we just had to outscore them."

The Kingsmen fell behind, 10-7, early in the second quarter before scoring on consecutive possessions. Brian Woodworth had receptions of 12 and 17 yards, and a 19-yard rush to set up Chris Czernek's two-yard scoring run.

Two minutes later, Woodworth scored on a five-yard run that came one play after Dorian Stitt's 53-yard carry, giving Cal Lutheran a 21-10 lead.

Stitt had 19 carries for 159 yards. He needs 198 yards in Cal Lutheran's final two games to break Fredrik Nanhed's school record of 2,938 career yards from 1995-98.

Later in the second quarter, Stitt raced up the middle for 25 yards only to fumble as he fought for additional yardage. The Poets recovered, and Mejia threw deep to Kenny Bohman on the next play for a 79-yard touchdown that changed the momentum.

"I asked Coach to let me run deep," said Bohman, who finished with 10 receptions for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

The Kingsmen were victimized by two big plays before halftime. A screen pass to Matt Daniels Jr. went 64 yards to set up Mejia's third touchdown pass to Bohman.

After a Cal Lutheran punt, the Poets needed only 42 seconds to drive 78 yards, capped by Mejia's 43-yard touchdown pass play to Giovanni Alvarez-Mena with 16 seconds left in the half to make it 31-21.

Ryan Geisler kicked a 31-yard field goal after Mejia fumbled at the Poets' 19-yard line for Cal Lutheran.

Czernek completed 24 of 39 passes for 239 yards, and Woodworth had seven receptions for 72 yards.

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